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Would like your thoughts on co-sleeping with and still breastfeeding a 16 month old

(11 Posts)
arabella2 Thu 13-Mar-03 20:45:00

Hi
My ds is soon going to be 16 months old... I have posted before about dropping his night feeds but we have not yet done this - I am waiting till all the family visits are out of the way and then I shall go ahead with dr Jay's programme that someone posted a link about. I co-sleep alone with ds because dh snores and since the beginning I have not been able to cope with 2 people waking me up. Now it has become a habit - ds and I sleep in ds's room and dh sleeps elsewhere. I feed ds to sleep go downstairs for my evening and then go to sleep in his room. If he wakes up at night (or indeed in the middle of his long nap) I give him more milk and he goes back to sleep. Sometimes this happens many times. He then has milk when he wakes up (either from his nap or from his long sleep)... I love feeding him and feel tenderness towards him when he is drinking. (Not when I am totally knackered but at other times) I would like to stop the night feeding but when he goes to sleep feeding at the beginning of the night or of a nap for example, it's lovely to watch him getting sleepy. Sometimes as he turns towards me to drink he says "mama" which is also lovely. BUT I am beginning to feel a little uncomfortable, I don't think I would if dh were co-sleeping with us as well, but the fact that it's ds and me alone feels wrong in some way now I think...almost as if we are having some kind of "affair" from which dh is excluded. Also I am beginning to think that it's not fair for ds that I am there all the time like some kind of permanent fixture that won't go away. I am sorry that ds is so dependent on me for his sleep but that is something which I should have thought about a lot earlier when ds was much younger and as I said, I do fully intend to sort the night feeds out. From then I suppose we would move to sorting out the way he goes to sleep. I know this really has to be done for his sake but I think in a way I would miss the closeness. What do you all think? I suppose I am beginning to think that what I am doing is inappropriate in some way - that I enjoy cuddling him when he sleeps but dh is excluded from this (though dh does get LOADS of cuddles in in the day)...

jasper Thu 13-Mar-03 21:22:50

arabella seems like I am first to offer advice and for what it's worth I think you are being a little hard on yourself. It sounds as if you and your baby son are having a lovely time sleeping together and he is only 16 months not 16 years, so why not just relax and continue to enjoy those special nights of closeness? The baby years whizz past so fast.

You mentioned it feels funny to you as your dh is excluded . Has your dh mentioned this as being a problem for him?

Funny you should use the analogy of an affair from which your dh is excluded. I have often thought this in general regards me and my three kids. WE have a closeness which I don't think my dh has or can comprehend.


Good luck with whatever you decide.

chiccadum Thu 13-Mar-03 21:50:21

arabella2, although I cannot offer any advice, all i would say is enjoy it while it last, I was unable to breastfeed both of mine and ofen think about the closeness I may have missed.

Joe1 Fri 14-Mar-03 09:01:30

I agree, they are babies for such a short time. I feed my son until he was nearly two and he still comes into our bed half way through the night. I also co sleep with our dd which helps us get sleep and I also love us all being so close, and sometimes we are pretty close

Enid Fri 14-Mar-03 09:10:22

Just like to add that my health visitor does this with her 15 month old dd so it can't be all bad!

Marina Fri 14-Mar-03 11:36:31

Arabella, a lot of what you have written applied to us and ds1 at 16 months. Only difference being that as dh doesn't snore, we all piled in to one king-size bed. So the "exclusion" thingy was not such an issue for us. Night-time snacking was, though...it *is* possible to keep b/f and keep co-sleeping for longer after dropping the night feeds. I b/f until ds was 2.5 (bedtime only) and he still ends up in bed with us.
How we dropped the night-time feeds was for me to wear nightwear with a higher neckline, and offer water to drink instead. I fully expected it to be awful, but in less than three days and with no tantrums, ds was sleeping though without trying to feed. He was almost exactly the same age as your ds. And he self-weaned at 2.5, another stress-free surprise.
Agree with all the others that you should act when you feel ready, and that every mum (especially maybe with boy babies) feels "in love" with her child, whether or not they are co-sleeping, b/f etc. Did you and dh always sleep in the same room before ds, or was his snoring an issue then? That might be one factor to take into account...but if dh is happy (and remember he's getting a full night's sleep out of this arrangement ) then I really wouldn't worry.

CAM Sat 15-Mar-03 11:23:52

I was "in love" with both my girl babies, it's not just a boy-baby thing.

tomps Sat 15-Mar-03 15:26:12

Arabella2 - my first thought is lucky dh ! My dd gets all my affection so poor dp is very out in the cold. am not co-sleeping (except during periods of bad teething / illness) but also still b/fing 16m old (only at night now since feb). Have posted several times on my intentions to stop, especially as I'm still feeding to sleep at night, but it's easier to keep doing it & mostly I do enjoy the closeness. And just in the last few weeks, dd has changed the routine of her own accord - only waking once at night, and now quite often she is not asleep from feeding, but will eventually drift off if I lie on the bed with her (have single bed in her room). So I'm taking the easy way out and waiting to see if she just sorts out sleeping herself, as I've been assured by other mumsnetters that they quite often do. So my advice would be to continue to be led by ds unless you want / need to change. hth and by the way there's a few threads about co-sleeping and still breastfeeding under both sleeping and breastfeeding topic headings. Sorry don't know how to do links but a search should locate them for you. Seem to be quite a few of us (Forest, Genia, Florenceuk, yuyee) in the same boat at the moment, still feeding 16ish month olds. Will be interesting to see how we all get on with eventually stopping.

Eulalia Thu 27-Mar-03 22:29:20

Arabella2 - enjoy and don't worry! ds won't always be sleeping with you and you have years ahead to catch up with dh.

I co-slept with my ds and he went to his own bed willingly aged 3 and am now co-sleeping with dd aged 11 months.

There is a lot about co-sleeping on these threads, do a search on the term. All the best.

Lara2 Fri 28-Mar-03 10:57:06

arabella, I co-slept with both my ds's - now 10 and 6 - and BF ds2 until he was 2. It's fine, it feels right for you all, so do it. Don't wory about what other people say, they're not in your house bringing up your ds. It's a very special, close time - treasure it.

zebra Fri 28-Mar-03 11:57:55

We tried to force our first toddler out of our room for the kind of uncomfortable feelings Arabella2 says. I can't sleep with more than one other person in the bed, either. But honestly... by 2nd child, co-sleeping was easier than months of half-heared coercion. We have nearly-18-month old in a cot next to the bed, I wonder if you could put cot next to bed too, Arabella2? You're lucky your DH feels adequately cuddled; my DH is always moaning for more cuddles. You'd be amazed how many otherwise-happily married couples sleep apart, though, because of snoring or other issues.

Nightfeeds -- DD goes down for night around 8:pm, and can have "drinks" off of me after 3-4am. I would give her water but she won't have it. If DD wakes up before 3am she gets a cuddle but no breast -- some crying when I first did this, but she accepts it now. I think she's geuinely thirsty at 3-4am. How many adults would go more than 7-8 hrs without at least a drink? Some nights she even sleeps all the way to 6am! "

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